Explosions of 2013 /// Bastille

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There are times when a music unit appears as if out of nowhere to bring a new, fresh wave onto a music scene. Such acts usually go majorly unnoticed before their talent is recognised, but when it happens, the effect is usually that of mass hysteria. For Bastille the year 2013 has become a huge one. The release of their debut album ‘Bad Blood’ propelled the band from the status of local talents into that of the biggest debutants of 2013. But it didn’t happen overnight.

Bastille root back into the times when the band’s frontman Dan Smith wrote music and performed as a solo artist. He recollects his first ever appearance on the stage, which was a prize for winning a talent contest, as a complete disaster as he was so confused and nervous, that obviously couldn’t put up a good performance. Shy and secretive by nature, Dan found the pressure of being alone on the stage too daunting. So as to feel more confident, he recruited Chris Wood, Kyle Simmons and Will Farquarson to perform with him and in 2010 Dan Smith and his then backing musicians turned into Bastille.

The band’s first offering was a mixtape, but not your usual kind of mixtape. The collective used bits and pieces from films together with their own version of other bands’ songs. As a result, from the very beginning Bastille put a distinctive stamp of their personality on all their creative work. Later on, their own songs came, which the band shared online, and Bastille caught the attention of Virgin. However, even despite the backing of such a giant label, Bastille didn’t wake up famous after inking the deal with Virgin around Christmas 2011. It took them four singles released over the course of 2012 – 2013 to make some proper noise: ‘Pompeii’ did what its predecessors had failed to do, namely to chart at the top position and drive half of the world proper mad. Soon after ‘Pompeii’ was released, Bastille fired their main shot – the debut album ‘Bad Blood’, which went straight to the hearts of music lovers all over the world.

Recognition, attention and unrestricted love for the new band poured into sold out tours in the UK and the USA paired with performances at a great number of festivals all over the summer: Bastille became huge. However, despite their rocket tour to the top of the world music, Bastille are amongst the most humble musicians to walk the planet. Frontman and main songwriter Dan Smith doesn’t take this success for granted, but knows its price. His writing habits haven’t changed much and even despite being in a world-class band now, he still prefers to write music on his own in his bedroom. For him songs are the most important things, so Dan’s creations speak volumes to attentive listeners: his dark lyrics dressed in exquisite garment made of electronics, beats and classical instruments are louder than thousands of words.

This very sound is the reason why Bastille have created such a huge stir. Fresh and novelty, their debut album takes guitar-less music on an absolutely new level. Violin and celo add never-ending sophistication to upbeat electronic sound with majestic piano and keyboards leading the way. Dan’s unusual soft and very clean vocals make a perfect unit with the melody. Visual inspirations driven from David Lynch films find their reflection in Bastille’s videos: there’s an unusual plot twist in any video from this band that will leave you thinking and wondering.

Bastille have enough originality to distance them miles away from a pop outfit alone. There is intelligence, originality and talent in this band which are hard to rival. So it’s no wonder that the coming 2014 has all the potential to become even bigger for the hard-working collective.

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